Balfour Declaration Not Merely a War Measure General Jan Smuts Says

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

“The Balfour Declaration is one of the notable events in history, and its true importance will be realized more and more in decades to come, when much else in the history of the Great War will have become but a dim memory,” General Smuts, the South African ex-Premier, writes in a foreword to a special pamphlet published by the South African Zionist Federation in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

“For though it is not as spectacular as some of the other Peace settlements.” he proceeds, “neither is it, like many of them, vitiated by injustice and war passion. On the contrary, it is based on historic justice, it constitutes a great act of historic reparation, and renews once more the promise which is basic to Jewish history.

“Throughout the long centuries Palestine remained for the Jews a foreign land, and the promise remained in abeyance. Then came the Great War, in which their historic oppressors suffered crushing defeat even to the verge of extinction. And from that awful judgment seat of history came at last the pronouncement known as the Balfour Declaration. It was apparently a minor incident in the midst of world-shaking events, but in reality one of the remarkable events of history. For it was a renewal and fulfillment of the promise and it showed historic justice triumphant at last across the long stretch of centuries. From the human point of view, from the high spiritual point of view, there is nothing more dramatic or more significant in history. What an argument Job would have founded on this great act of fulfillment after almost two thousand years of doubt and denial! View it as we like, the Balfour Declaration on its great setting of history is one of the most wonderful confirmations of the moral and spiritual principle in human affairs.”

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